GUWAHATI: More than 19,06,657 people were excluded as the final list of Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) came out on Saturday.
The NRC will not make those excluded stateless overnight as the process will be followed by long-winding litigation which might take years to complete.
None excluded will be put in the detention camp immediately. There is no question of deportation as the Centre has already said it is an internal matter of India. Bangladesh too said it is India’s internal matter.
The Assam government does not have the facilities to keep so many people in detention. There are no separate detention camps. The jails are where the declared foreigners are kept and they are already crowded.
There is just one detention camp which is coming up in Goalpara but it can house at the most 3,000 people. The government has taken a decision to build ten such detention camps.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said those left out would not face detention till the Foreigners’ Tribunals pass orders about their status.
They will be able to challenge exclusion by filing appeals in the tribunals. The government has decided to extend legal aid to them free of cost.
“Those who will be left out can move the Foreigners’ Tribunals to challenge their cases by filing appeals. The appeals have to be filed within 120 days since the final list is published. The cases have to be disposed of within six months from the day the appeals were filed,” Assam’s Additional Chief Secretary, Kumar Sanjay Krishna, told this newspaper.
“If someone’s case has been disposed of by the Foreigners’ Tribunal but he continues to remain excluded from the NRC, he can move the Gauhati High Court,” Krishna explained.
If at all the government takes some action against those excluded, it could be stripping them of their voting and land rights. They could be also denied government jobs and government facilities.
However, there is a possibility of the Centre passing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in the Rajya Sabha to protect the interests of non-Muslim immigrants. It has been already passed by the Lok Sabha.
The Supreme Court will be the last resort. Currently, Assam has 100 Foreigners’ Tribunals. The government will set up another 200 such tribunals.
Given the long process of litigation, there is a perception that it will take years to identify the Indians in Assam. After all, the updation of the NRC is a process to identify Indians, not illegal immigrants.
People left out can claim inclusion by producing any of the following 15 documents specified by NRC authorities.
THE 15 DOCUMENTS NEEDED TO GET NAMES INCLUDED IN DRAFT NRC
Land documents like Registered Sale Deed, records of land rights up to March 24, 1971 (midnight).
Permanent Residential Certificate issued up to March 24, 1971 (midnight)
Passport issued by the Government of India up to March 24, 1971
Life Insurance Corporation of India Insurance Policy (LIC) of relevant period up to March 24, 1971 (midnight)
Any licence/certificate issued by any government authority of relevant period i.e. up to March 24, 1971 (midnight).
Document showing service/employment under Government/Public Sector undertaking up to March 24, 1971 (midnight)
Bank/Post Office Accounts of the relevant period i.e. up to March 24, 1971 (midnight).
Birth Certificates issued by the competent authority up to March 24, 1971 (midnight)
Educational certificate issued by Board/Universities up to March 24, 1971 (midnight)
Records/processes pertaining to court up to March 24, 1971 (midnight) provided they are part of processing in a Judicial or Revenue Court.
Extract of NRC, 1951
Extract/certified copy of Electoral Rolls up to the midnight of March 24, 1971 (midnight).
Citizenship Certificate issued by a competent authority (upto March 24, 1971 (midnight).
Refugee registration certificate issued up to March 24, 1971 (midnight).
Ration cards issued by a competent authority with official seal and signature up to March 24, 1971 (midnight).